Thursday, October 1, 2009

Do Endorsements Matter in the Wildrose Alliance Leadership Race?

  With the Wildrose Alliance Leadership race now in the final stretch, I found myself wondering if political endorsements really matter?  Does anyone switch their vote based on who has more ( or better) public endorsements?  Is it all for show?  Lets look at some of the public endorsements for each candidate...

Mark Dyrholm's endorsements ( taken from his twitter posts over the past few months & official website) include the following:

  •  Ken Mazzeroll, former candidate for Calgary Currie in 2004. 
  • Tim Bloedow, ECP Centre
  • Randy Hillier
  • Ontario MPP's Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington.
  • Myron Thompson
  • Dianna Brooks, Candidate 2004, Calgary Elbow
  • Justin Wong, Calgary Shaw Constituency Assoc & Business Owner
  • Don Leonardo, Veteran, Former VP, Calgary Egmont Alberta PC Party Association  
  • Jim Blake, National Charman, Concerned Christians Canada Inc.
  • Craig B. Chandler, Executive Director, Progressive Group for Independent Business (PGIB)
Danielle Smith's endorsements ( taken from an email I had received recently) include:

  •  Betty Unger, Alberta senator-elect, Edmonton
  • Link Byfield, Alberta senator-elect and Joanne Byfield, pro-life organizer and activist.
  • Candis McLean, Calgary, investigative journalist and documentary producer.
  • Tom Flanagan, former federal Conservative campaign manager and author.
  • Rainer Knopff, U of C professor and author.
  • Gordon Butler, Past President of the Western Stock Growers’ Association and Property Rights Advocate.
  • Ezra Levant, Western Standard Publisher.
  • Barry Cooper, Professor of Political Science, U of C.
  • David Chatters Reform Party/Conservative MP for Athabasca and Westlock-St. Paul, 1993 -2006
  • Phil Klein, Edmonton, (Ralph’s father)
The scope (and arguably, the quality) of these endorsement varies quite a bit.  I know the conventional wisdom says..." the only endorsements that matter are the votes on leadership day", but I thought it was worth reviewing.  Either camp cannot say they do not care about these endorsements or they would not publicly flaunt them every time the were received. 

Does it make a difference to anyone?  Will it change anyones vote? Does anyone care?  If not, why do people make such a big deal about the endorsments?  What are your thoughts?

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  1. I guess Myron Thompson endorses the mass membership buying being committed by Chandler and the PGIB, quite disappointing.

  2. Endorsements from pundits matter, this means both MSM op-eds, bloggers, and what one sees in the comment threads for both.

    Endorsements from politicians, business people, etc ought to be dismissed because 9 times out of 10 they are based on networking and not a weighed analysis. It's, "hey, old pal, remember how we worked together on X and Y back in the day? I happening to be running for King of the World. Could I count on your endorsement?" "Sure. I've always reckoned you and upstanding guy who was going places." Sometimes one doesn't even have to reference a common experience. Just let it drop that you are both Punjabi or Ukrainian or a member of the same church and you've got your endorsement. These endorsements signify connections and not much more.

  3. Danielle Smith's team has quite a few Harper and Morton alumni it looks like...

  4. In most cases, endorsements can't hurt, even if their impact is minimal.

    Chandler endorsing (most say pulling the sock puppet's strings) Dyrholm is surely damaging to Dyrholm. Same with Ezra Levant endorsing Danielle Smith.

    But it does look like more qualified and knowledgable people endorse Smith, so that counts for something.

    I am leaning toward Smith myself, but endorsements likely won't be a big factor in my decision.

  5. An endorsement from Ezra Levant is 'damaging' to Smith? Levant, who is perhaps the most well-known fighter of the dreaded HRC?

    I'd guess that Dyrholm would love that kind of backing instead of having to list a member of his own campaign team (Chandler).

  6. Theo Fleury just came out to endorse Mark.

  7. Oh and I forgot Frank Redford (Alison Redford's Uncle) also endorsed Mark.

  8. Shane
    The only endorsements that matter are those who will send in the ballot. The rest are just for show.

  9. Theo's back on the sauce already? Alison has an embarrassing family member (pretty much like any one of us)? Where's Dave Crutcher (former "President" - for about eight minutes - of the Egmont PC Association and Craig's chief fartcatcher)? And why the hell would I care about endorsements from non-Albertans? May as well go ahead and list your wives, children and dogs.

  10. Anon

    At least our campaign team is all Albertan. Danielle hired Campaign Research from Ontario because she does not feel there is any talent in Albera.

  11. Craig Chandler's biggest fanOctober 2, 2009 at 4:01 PM

    Craig B. Chandler: Theo Fleury just came out to endorse Mark.

    Mark was also endorsed by Randy Hillier, Myron Thompson, Stephen Harper, Ronald Reagan, and Santa Claus... right, Craig?

  12. I have been to the campaign office and recognize many of her team from here in Calgary. Trust me she has talent from AB there. Getting a little defensive?

  13. I'm amazed that Craig had the time to type out another shot of slime at Danielle on here, given how much of his time is spent making complaints directly to Danielle about people who he is aware aren't even part of the Smith campaign.

    I wonder what is the actual motive for that...

  14. Leigh,

    Stating the facts is not slime. I know the people from Campaign Research and they are in town for one reason.

    Nice try.

  15., aren't YOU from Ontario, Craig?

  16. I have a hard time believing that these are WAP supporters, does this mean that your done with the party if the other wins? The only endorsement that is relevent is the ones casting the vote. Where the campaign team is from is irrelevent,Craig you post an endorsment from Hillier, same thing. Can anyone see the good in the other candidate or just wanting to bring up nonsenese? Geuss we will see in 15 days.

  17. The owners of Campaign Research still live there. I live here.

    I am an Albertan by choice, not by chance.

  18. I heard there was a comment here so nasty that Shane had to block it. I haven't blocked any of mine yet and they're pretty extreme. Like..... extreme extreme.

  19. There is 2 camps that makes up the Wildrose Alliance. Normal people and then Chandler. Normal people don't want Chandler, buh bye Chandy don't let the tent flap hit you on the way out.

  20. Wow...interesting discussion here, lol. Tis true, I had to refuse to publish one of the comments. It was borderline lible and I am not getting hooked into that, lol.

  21. I think endorsements help, because given the character of some of the endorsees, it may give one pause about supporting the person they are endorsing.

  22. I'm pretty sure Santa Claus is a Liberal supporter, he only works one day a year, he loves red, believes in a traditional non-carbon form of transportation, and repeats the same message over and over and over.

    So I don't think he'd support Dyrholm or Smith.